Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Friday, February 27, 2015

A boat, a Monastery and a village

Whilst in Hsipaw, we took a boat along the river and then walked up to another small monastery.

Now I have a bit of a fear of being under water, which in theory shouldn't be an issue in a boat, but for me, it depends on how safe and stable I think the boat is, and whether I think I am at risk of falling in.

Strangely, after some initial anxiety, I had no worries about sitting on the side of the zodiacs in our polar trips, but these long narrow ones horrify me!  They dip far to low from side to side, especially when we are getting in and out of them, and I am convinced that either I will fall in or the whole boat will overturn.

So you can imagine that I wasn't best pleased when part way there, our engine died.  Our driver paddled over to the edge, but there we were, bobbing around helplessly and, in my head, precariously.  The other boat came back to pick us up, which necessitated an extra round of getting off and on again, and we finally made it to the start of our walk.

Once we got the short uphill bit out of the way, it was a very pleasant walk.  We met a lovely lady in her 60s who lived in a little wooden platform room here in the middle of nowhere.  She was very excited to meet us, telling us all that she had no teeth, and giving us little hugs.

We passed teak trees - which legally can only be planted by the government or monks and you get three year in prison for cutting down.  We also saw pineapple plantations, where we were told that the ones here are the best in Myanmar.

Once we arrived at the monastery, we had the chance to taste the pineapple and it was indeed excellent, very sweet and juicy.

After a brief stop with the monks, we went back to the boats and back down the river, stopping off at a small village called Chin Lone.

The village has no roads to it, so can only be reached either by boat, or on the once a day train.  They collect their water from wells, and some of them have solar panels to supplement the unreliable electricity supply, but these limited amenities didn't stop at least one of the homes from having a satellite dish too.

We watched the locals putting their harvest of corn cobs through a machine to take off the kernels, and we were able to take a look at their lovely homes with the woven bamboo walls.

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